Arkansas House OKs employee opt-out for COVID vaccine

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FILE – In this Tuesday, June 29, 2021 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks about COVID-19 vaccinations at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Hutchinson, called a special legislative session in early August 2021, asking lawmakers to carve out an exception for schools in a bill to ban mask mandates. They declined. The law is currently blocked by an Arkansas judge who deemed it unconstitutional. Legal battles are ongoing in other states as well, including Missouri, where a St. Louis County mask mandate is in dispute. (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas House has advanced a bill that would require employers to let workers opt out of taking the COVID-19 vaccine, despite warnings that it would conflict with the federal vaccine mandate and threaten millions in funding for health care facilities around the state.

The proposal was approved on Tuesday by the House and sent to the full Senate, which has backed an identical proposal.

The bill is among several targeting vaccine mandates proposed during a session intended to focus on congressional redistricting.

The bill would allow employees to opt out of vaccine requirements if they are tested weekly or can prove they have antibodies against COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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